Why You Need Some Anxiety In Your Life

While 18% of the US adults have some type of anxiety disorder – generalized anxiety, OCD, phobias, panic disorder, social anxiety, or PSTD, Time magazine recently had an article on whether anxiety could be good for the rest of us. (12/5/11)

As most of us know, anxiety causes stress which constricts our blood vessels and causes our blood pressure to rise. But, it can also impact our metabolism and the way we burn calories. And, it can also impact digestion which can lead to heartburn, bloating, and diarrhea. (It doesn’t sound so good so far.)

But, the article goes on to point out that the hormones that drive anxiety can be powerful stimulants helping our senses to work at their best. It’s the difference between a “challenge stress” and a “threat stress”. Finding that right point on the curve where anxiety increases performance is critical. The article talks about a “metabolic jujitsu” of turning anxiety back on itself. That’s an interesting way of thinking about harnessing stress to better perform. I certainly need some stress in my life to feel the need to push harder in what I’m working on.

(Graphic from http://spinalstenosis.org/blog/back-pain-stress/)

One Response to “Why You Need Some Anxiety In Your Life”

  1. Interesting article. I can see the benefits of using anxiety to perform better but I also think it would be very difficult to control.

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